How Do We Incentivize High Performance? Profit v Purpose In this excerpt from his best selling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us author Dan Pink shares some fascinating insights into the things that really motivate us at home and in the workplace. As Pink points out carrot and stick motivators may work for simple algorithmic tasks, but for more complex jobs that require creative thinking, studies show money is not an effective motivator. Interestingly, people engaged in these types of projects are more motivated by a sense

Know Your “Frenemy” Has this ever happened to you? You’ve pitched a prospective client on your services. The meeting ends and you walk out feeling great! You’re sure that you’ve nailed it! After all, you had great rapport with the prospect. They were engaged. They nodded in acknowledgement as you made your case for being the most experienced service provider in town. They were clearly impressed by your client list and references and, you’re proposed pricing is well within their budget. They are chomping at the bit! All that’s left

Beware of Being the “Affordable" Choice When pricing your product it can be really tempting to position yourself as the low-cost alternative in the market. After all the thinking goes, if your product’s price is more affordable this will drive traffic and even though you’re making less per item, you’ll be able to make up the difference on the volume sold. It’s a popular tact taken by many businesses mostly because it’s simple and straightforward and, you don’t need a lot of marketing “know how” to pull it off. However,

Making Someone Feel Important.   “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” – Kathryn Stockett, The Help I love this line from, The Help. It’s so simple, and powerful. Did you know that feeling that we’re respected; in essence that we matter is the one quality we humans crave most in our interactions with others? We want to feel that we’re important. You know, when you think about it, making people feel that they’re important or that they have value is really such an easy thing to deliver

Surprise! People Just Want What’s Familiar. Does this ever happen to you? Your traveling in a new city and find yourself wanting to buy a cup of coffee but you don’t know any of the coffee shops in the area.  I suppose you could do some research or ask a local, you could take your chances on the first place you see, or, more likely you could just go to the nearest Starbucks (If you haven’t gone completely off the grid, there is surely a Starbucks in the area.) Now,

Extroverts are “Natural” Salespeople, and Other Lies.  How many times have you been at a cocktail party or networking event and seen that guy, you know part Max Headroom, part Mr. Incredible, with the toothy grin and the bone crushing handshake who seems to be sucking all the oxygen out of the room as he makes a point of introducing himself to each and every person at the event? We’ve all seen this at one time or another and then no doubt thought to ourselves, this guy MUST be in

What’s in a Name? I recently came across this hilarious graphic. It re-imagines author John Steinbeck’s rough draft notes for naming what would become his award-winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath”.  Once I stopped laughing, I thought to myself, part of what makes this image so awesome is that it reminds us that finding just the right name for a book, a business, or even a new baby is really hard. Don’t you think? (Just ask Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.) Seriously. Consider this for a moment. How often have

Got Hope? When asked what we want in life, the vast majority of us will say that we really just want to be happy. Not surprisingly, most of us tend to seek out experiences that make us feel happy and hopeful. We like to go to movies with happy endings. We like happy songs. Singer Bobby McFerrin became a household name by singing, “Don’t Worry. Be Happy.”  We take our kids to McDonald’s to buy “happy meals.” Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election by selling, hope. And, Revlon Founder and

Reality v. The Lake Wobegon Effect I once saw a speaker at a conference ask participants to close their eyes and raise their hand if they thought they were among the top 50% of performers in the room. Then he asked them to keep their hand raised if they were in the top 25% of performers in the room, and then again he asked them to keep their hand raised if they believed they were in the top 10%. Finally, he asked them to open their eyes. What they saw

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